While the right tools are necessary in order to produce the finest possible cup of coffee for somebody to start their day, no equipment will compensate for low-quality or stale coffee beans. With your ceramic or plastic pour over tool, you will enjoy the full flavor of gourmet coffee beans, free of any plastic overtones. Now it’s time to think about the best coffee beans for you, so that you can experience it. Choosing high-quality coffee beans is a bit like buying wine: There are a few basics you should know when you start out. Here’s an introduction into the whole gorgeous world of artisan coffee:
TASTE AND AROMA OF QUALITY COFFEE BEANS
You’ll be able to taste coffee more knowledgeably if you understand the terms used to describe its flavor and aroma. As you sample different types of coffee, keep these listed characteristics in mind. Analyzing the aspects of your tasting experience will help you decide your favorites, and your knowledge will sharpen and entertain your customers’ enjoyment of the coffee you serve for them.
Acidity: This refers to a sharpness or snappiness that you can feel at the edges of your tongue, and it’s a positive quality if the acid is not too high and still acceptable and good in our mouth. Sometimes it’s also described as “brightness.” Coffees with less acidity are sometimes called “mellow,” but all coffees need some acidity in order to avoid being flat or dull.
Aroma: Since our taste buds are only capable of discerning four flavor categories (sour, sweet, salty and bitter), our sense of smell provides all the other dimensions of flavor. Coffee aroma adds qualities such as smoky, floral, fruity, earthy, or it may remind you of certain berries or nuts.
Body: Even though all coffee is brewed with water, some types feel physically heavier and denser in your mouth. A full-bodied coffee may remind you of having whole milk or cream in your mouth, while a medium or light-bodied coffee will be more like skim milk or water.
Roast: Described in detail below, the amount of time that the beans undergo heating has a big effect on their finished appearance and taste. There are some different type of roasting. From light roasting or some call it blonde, medium roast and dark roast. You could see it from the color of the beans.
Balance: This is a descriptive word for the way in which the above factors interact and have correlation with each other and all of the characters above are exist. Good coffee beans usually present a high level of balance between acidity and mellowness, and they include a complex and satisfying overall aroma and flavor. Coffee with a low balance level would be extreme in one aspect of taste, and the experience would feel shallower.
Aftertaste: Taken from the world of winetasting, the term refers to the taste and sensation left in your mouth after you swallow. Some varieties of coffee have a cocoa or chocolate finish, others leave an aftertaste of fruit, berries or nuts.
REGION, VARIETY AND SEASON
Just like wine, the taste of coffee reflects the geographic region in which the beans have been grown, as well as the exact species of the coffee plant. Certain regions have distinctive characteristics, depending on the soil, elevation and farming methods of the individual grower. Other factors that can influence taste include whether the beans are shade-grown or organic, also depending on how the grower grow it in their “farm”, the methods of enriching the soil and processing the beans, and whether the farmers and pickers are paid enough so that they actually care about doing a good job and resulting a good coffee.
There are two varieties of coffee beans: arabica and robusta. Both varieties are grown all over the world; however, robusta beans are easier to grow and the plants don’t require high elevations in order to thrive, because it’s easier, the taste of robusta beans is usually bitter or stronger. In general, robusta beans are cheaper to buy, and they tend to be used for the usual commercial coffee blends. Their flavor is harsher and more nut-like, and they have higher levels of caffeine. Artisan coffees are generally made from the arabica variety of bean, which has a more balanced taste that is sometimes called “winey” or “soft.”
Because so many factors influence the final taste of coffee, it’s hard to generalize about specific regions. The books about coffee in the nearest coffee shop would be available for you to read. Also, a good coffee roaster will be able to tell you about the specific crop of beans that they are roasting and selling, and this will be more relevant than generalizations about growing locations.
Here’s a little bit information of coffee beans regional generalities you should know :
Central America and Colombia: tend to be familiar to Americans, since most of our major brands are sourced there. They are mostly fairly light and well-balanced, a bit acidic, with good fruity undertones.
Brazilian: consist mostly of robusta beans, and they are used for many grocery store and espresso blends. They have a heavy mouth-feel, sometimes with chocolatey overtones, and they are often used in darker roasts.
Ethiopia: here they have more biodiversity than other growing regions. Many of their coffees are described as syrupy, with strong overtones of strawberry or blueberry.
Kenya: features bold-tasting coffees that some people find tropical, with a black-currant quality and sometimes even a tomato-like acidity.
Indonesia: dark earthy or smoky quality with a long aftertaste reminiscent of unsweetened cocoa.
Hawaiian: a sweet scent and a mild, floral mellowness.